Interviews Alan Zoldan

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Q1. Where are you from?

Wesley Hills, NY

Q2. How did you discover copywriting?

When I was in 7th grade, my English teacher read an essay of mine to his 9th grade students, as an example of “the kind of writing you clowns ought to be handing in.” It was all downhill from there. In Freshman English (as it was called at the time), the same ego-stroking (my work read to the class) continued. After grad school (MBA, Marketing), I figured I’d land at an ad agency or publisher. I worked as a Marketing Manager, but the part of my job that I enjoyed the most was writing the marketing materials. And the companies grew . . . And then I started up my own educational software company in 1981 (carbon dating will confirm that). And I was the K-12 MicroMedia in-house marketing department, writing catalogs, flyers, ads, press releases, and niche-focused mini-catalogs. And that company grew. After that (1989), I had two jobs (one as an Editor), but I had gotten extremely used to being my own boss. A flash of insight and a Bob Bly book (Secrets of a Freelance Copywriter: How to Make $80,000 a Year — it has since been adjusted way upward for inflation), and I was off to the freelance copywriter life — where I have lived happily ever after.

Q3. What forms of copy do you write?

Email, direct response, blogs, ads, websites, landing pages, brochures, catalogs & press releases. Mostly B2B. And mostly print (or screen).

Q4. What are your favorite niches to write in?

I love learning new things and I have the relentless curiosity of a four-year-old, so I try not to play favorites, but I get particular satisfaction from fundraising letters (because I am helping to raise money for good causes) and DR copy (because I’m very “response-able” in that format).

Q5. What is the #1 lesson you've learned as a copywriter?

That there is no #1 lesson — so I’ll list three. 1. always be learning (about copywriting, freelancing, and the industries/niches you write for. 3. Don’t be afraid to write or think “out of the box.” At the brainstorming stage, there should be no shoulds.

Q6. Who is your favorite copywriter & why?

There are so many, but I’m going to go with George Tannenbaum, who writes the wonderful blog Ad Aged, read by 60,000 ad-aged people each week. George was an executive-level creative at Ogilvy & Mathers before going out on his own. The man can write.

Q7. Do you have any recent wins to share?

I’m the go-to freelancer for Azurite Marketing Group and have written several websites for their diverse clients. I am also consulting with a potentially disruptive (aren’t they all?) collaboration platform for pharmacists and providers.

Q8. What would you say to a prospective client who wants to hire you?

That’s great! How would you like to start?

Q9. What is a good email address for prospective clients to contact you?

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